Home > Jewelry Glossary

Jewelry Glossary

One of the largest jewelry glossaries on the Internet, we have gathered one of the most comprehensive collections of English words that are related to the purchase and collection of fine gemstone and diamond jewelry. We present this jewelry glossary to you in order to aid you in you while shopping online. The definitions found here cover everything from finding a gemstone millions of years old, to cleaning and polishing the stone, to setting it in piece of jewelry, to the many fads the industry has seen throughout the centuries.
Please feel free to bookmark this page and refer back to it as necessary when reviewing our site or other sites. If you have a word that you want to know more about and it is not defined here on this list, please send an email to us and we will promptly add it to the glossary.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

100 Facet Gemstone
A gem that has been carefully cut to have 100 facets.


A univalve mollusc known for its iridescent natural pearls.


Means unconquerable in Greek, referring to the hardness of diamond.


A blue-whitish form of opalescence.


A pearl produced by the Japanese "Akoya" oyster..


Named from a town in Asia Minor, Garnet group.


Named after Czar Alexander II, very desirable, green in daylight, red in artificial light.

Alligator Strap

A strap, usually for a watch, that is crafted from an alligator’s hide. The strap can be dyed or left natural.


The name given to the young women who originally dove for the oysters


A purple or violet form of transparent quartz used as a gemstone. It is also the February birthstone. Amethysts can be worn in a variety of different ways. It ranges in color from light purple to a deep violet. Amethysts often stand for "pure affection."


Lacking a definite form; shapeless.


An object worn, especially around the neck, as a charm against evil or injury.


The Egyptian symbol for life, love and reincarnation. The symbol features a cross wherein the top portion is an inverted teardrop.

Anthill Garnet

These garnets, found in Arizona, are found around anthills. The reason is that the ants work to remove the precious gems from their homes deep underground. The excavated garnets encircle their insect fortress.


Latin for Water of the Sea, Beryl group.


A form of calcium carbonate, which constitutes a large portion of the pearl.

Artform Jewelry

Jewelry that has been crafted by a jeweler or artisan using a mold.

Asian Symbol Pendant

A pendant that features an Asian character or word.


Star effect seen in some stones when cut en cabochon.

Australian Opal

Australian opal is classified into five main types

Baby Bracelet

A bracelet designed to be worn by a baby or toddler. Popularized by Tiffany &Co., they are often given as christening gifts and engraved with the child's name.

Ball Earrings

Earrings, generally with post friction backs that feature a ball or rounded stud at one side.

Ballerina Setting

A setting that lifts the stone up from the shank. It is so named because the under gallery resembles a ballerina's tutu.

A bracelet featuring only bar links.

Bar Ring

A ring wherein the entire band is made up of multiple bars. These rings often feature woven metal to connect the bars.

Bar Setting

A setting, similar to a split bezel setting, wherein two bars hold either side of a gemstone in place.


A pearl with an irregular shape.

Barrel Clasp

A type of jewelry closure that resembles a barrel wherein the two pieces screw into one another to keep the piece secure.

Barrel Pendant

A pendant shaped like a wooden cask or barrel.


A small, showy ornament of little value; a trinket.

Bead Pendant

A pendant that is shaped like a bead.

Bead Setting

A setting wherein the gemstone is held with beads as opposed to prongs. The beads are set in place using a beading tool, and to the naked eye, it appears as though the stone is held by beaded prongs.

Beaded Anklet

An anklet that features glass or gemstone beads along a thread or metal wire. The anklet can be entirely set with beads from end to end or feature beaded stations.

Bell Clutch

An earring's backing that works like a friction post. The back is shaped like a bell and when it slides onto the post, the extended length grips onto the earring. Often there is also a notch on the earring's post for extra security.

Bell Cut

A type of gemstone cut wherein a stone is cut into a three-dimensional bell.

Bella Luce

Pronounced "Bell-ah Looch-A" means beautiful light in Italian.


Aluminum beryllium silicate. A group of minerals that includes both Emeralds and Aquamarine.

Betrothal Ring

In ancient Rome, called an annulus pronubus, these were metal rings without gemstone adornments given from a man to a woman to illustrate his intention to marry her.


The part of the watch that surrounds the face.

Bezel Setting

The earliest method of setting stones into a piece of jewelry. The bezel is a band of metal that has been shaped into the size of the gemstone to be placed. The setting is then soldered to the piece of jewelry and the prepared stone is placed into position.

Bib Necklace

A necklace that covers the decollete similar to a hanker chief necklace. This style was popularized by Whiting and Davis.

Bicycle Chain

A jewelry chain that resembles the chain on a bicyle.


The difference between the lowest and highest refractive indices in doubly refractive gemstones.

Bivalve Mollusk

A mollusk with a pair of shells (valves) which open by a means of a hinge.

Biwa Pearl

A non-nucleated cultured pearl from Japan's largest lake, Lake Biwa.


Strawberry-red, Beryl group.

Black Diamond

Carbonado is a natural polycrystalline diamond that is usually found in alluvial deposits - sand and soil sediment deposited by running water often along river banks - in central Africa and Brazil. These diamonds are generally dark grey or black in color

Black Hills Gold

Refers to jewelry that has been crafted in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is characterized by 10 karat yellow gold pieces accented with 12 karat rose and green gold.

Black Opal

A dark colored opal with internal reflections of green or red.

Black Sapphire

Form of corundum with a black/green hue due to Fe and titanium impurities.


A form of cleaning or refinishing a surface wherein a pressurized stream of a certain type of material (sand, glass, metal, ect) is used.

Blue Topaz

A type of quartz that is light brown to colorless when mined but turns a vivid blue when exposed to heat.

Body Jewelry

Jewelry worn on various parts of the body including the eyebrow, lip, nose, belly button, nipple, cheek, labret, bridge of the nose, and more.

Bold Ring

A large or glamorous ring that attracts attention. This style was popular during the costume jewelry craze in the 60s and 70s.

Box Setting

A square or rectangular grooved setting used to affix a stone to a flat surface like a money clip, lighter, pendant or charm.


A chain in which the link is wide and square and resembles a box. Can be made of gold, silver, platinum or other non precious metals.

Braganza Gemstone

The braganza is a huge gemstone that may or may not be a diamond. This Portuguese stone is said to weigh 1680 carats (which would make it the largest-known diamond), but it has not been authenticated. It may acually be a clear topaz.

Bridge Designed Semi-Mount

A type of semi-mount ring wherein the diamonds are set along the top of the rings shank. The feature stone, yet to be mounted, will then be placed atop the underlying diamonds as though it were a bridge.


Relating to, or being a hue that has a strong combination of lightness and strong saturation.


Refers to the amount of white light that reflects through or from the surface of a gemstone.

Brilliant-full Cut

This cut has at least 32 facets plus the table on the upper part, and 24 facets on the lower part. Usually refereed to as a brilliant cut when talking about diamonds.


Another term for pin. Broaches tend to have ornate designs and were often used to close cardigan sweaters.

Bubble Ring

A ring, often featuring blown glass, that features large spheres or orbs. Named simply because the ring resembles a bubble.

Buckle Bracelet

A bracelet that features a buckle closure as opposed to a more traditional clasp like a toggle, lobster, or fishhook clasp. These bracelets are commonly made of leather or finely woven metal fibers.

Buckle Ring

Another term for strap ring wherein a ring's band is fashioned to resemble a watch band. These rings may or may not have functional buckles. The buckle and strap closure is often fixed.

Bullet Cut

A special type of gemstone cut where the finished gemstone looks exactly like a bullet.


Having a smooth, glossy finish as though rubbed or polished.

Button Earring

An earring that has no movable parts.

Bypass Design

A design done with rings, necklaces, or bangle bracelets wherein the design curves around as once ridged piece but does not connect in the center. Instead, the pieces sway outward from one another as though a portion of a spiral.

Bypass Setting

A setting on a bypass ring wherein the gold or metal pieces that pass one another also create a setting for a gemstone. The pressure from the pieces creates a housing and the stone is held in place securely. Bypass settings are usually used in collusion

Byzantine Chain

A type of chain that features links that are set closely in an intricate pattern. This design creates a cylindrical tube with circular links going vertically, horizontally, and diagonally across one another.

Cable Finish

A finish that resembles a twisted wire cable.


Gem which is cut and polished to have a dome shaped upper surface. Such stones are said to be en cabochon.


A stone that has been rounded as opposed to faceted. Cabochon cuts are popular with opaque stones and those with asterisms or chatoyancy. In rings, most cabochon cuts feature a rounded dome surface with a flat base. In necklaces or charms, the cabochon cut may more closely reflect a complete sphere affixed with a specialized setting.

Cage Ring

A ring that features a stone at the center that is literally hemmed in with bars of diamonds or some other gemstone.


The process of establishing a unit of measure and then using it as a way to compare items in a group or sect. In jewelry, calibration refers to a stone slab that is a certain thickness used with CNC milling machines.


Stones that are cut to fit exactly into a specific setting or cut to fit next to one another.

Calibrated Stone

A stone cut specifically to size.


A jeweler or lapidary tool used for measuring gemstones accurately.


A design cut in low relief, around which the background has been cut away.


Popularized during the Victorian era, cameos are carvings traditionally done with shell or stone.The most popular motifs include the silhouette of a face, the bust of a person, florals, mythological figures, and often pastoral scenes carved in relief with a contrasting colored background. Originally, shell was commonly used, but as they grew in popularity, artisans began using manmade materials or stones like onyx and agate because they offered many varied layers of color perfect for creating their designs. Cameos were often worn as pins, broaches, or on a satin or velvet ribbon worn around the neck as a pendant.

Canteen Protector

A piece attached to a watch, generally crafted of plastic, that can be clipped or snapped over the face to prevent scratching. It is so named for its resemblance to a canteen cap that snaps to keep the water in.


Unit of weight for gems. A carat is 1/5th of a gram.


A naturally abundant element that occurs in many inorganic and in all organic compounds, exists freely as graphite and diamond.

Carved Gemstone

A gemstone, commonly jade, that has been carved into a shape or carved with a picture. Carved gemstones were once extremely popular in the Far East, and the intricate images told stories, recorded histories, and adorned royal halls.

Carved Ring

A ring that has been carved into the shape of something. Jade and ebony are popular choices for this type of ring.


Refers to a piece of jewelry that has been crafted, yet does not contain the gemstones or other accents yet. For example, a tennis bracelet with the settings, but no gems is a casting ready to be set.

Casting Kit

A kit that comes with all of the necessary materials

Celtic Knotwork

Interconnection of life and humankind's place within the universe.

Center Stone

Also referred to as a feature stone, this is the stone at the centerpiece of a piece of jewelry or the main stone in a gemstone station.


A durable material made from clay fired at extremely high temperatures that is scratch resistant. Ceramic is often used in fine timepieces for its glossy appearance and durable nature.

Ceylon Cut

This has numerous facets and is cut to get maximum weight thus it is not always symmetrical.

Chandelier Jewelry

Any type of dangle jewelry that features multiple hanging pieces. The pieces often dangle from an intricate filigree setting giving the piece a resemblance to an ornate chandelier.

Charm Bracelet Watch

A charm bracelet that features a working watch charm or a watch that is accessorized with charms.

Charm Holder Necklace

A necklace that displays a charm or a group of charms.

Charm Ring

A ring that features a dangling charm from the top.

Charm Ring

A dangle ring that features charms.


the cat's-eye effect seen in some stones when cut in the cabochon style.


Commonly referred to as the Cat’s Eye effect, chatoyancy appears as a single beam of light through a gemstone. The effect is caused by reflection across the surface, which is why the light beam will move as the stone does. Stones commonly seen with chatoyancy include tiger’s eye, chrysoberyl, and tourmaline.


Any design created from a repeat of the V shape.

Chocolate Diamond

Diamonds that are brown in color, from light brown to dark.

Chocolate Gold

Rose gold that has been put through a process called PVD or physical vaporization and deposition wherein the rose gold is hit electronically until the gold changes color into a rich chocolate brown. While it affects only the surface, the color will not scratch off with wear.


A type of necklace that sits close to the throat along the collar bones. Chokers were extremely popular with cameos and other vintage pieces and have recently come back into vogue.

Chop Stick Earrings

Another term for stick earrings.


The annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus


beryllium aluminum oxide, Group of minerals including Alexandrite and Chrysoberyl cat's eye.

Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye

Greek meaning waving light.


A brown or yellow-green olivine found in igneous and metamorphic rocks and used as a gemstone.

A bracelet, usually made entirely of precious metals, that features large, often overlapping, circles. The circles interlock to create the bracelet's links.

Circle of Life Jewelry

The circle of life design, also referred to as the circle of love design, features either several circles or one prominent one. The circle represents endless love, choices, and possibilities.

Circle of Love Jewelry

Also known as circle of life jewelry, these pieces feature either one or several circles. The design represents endless love and possibilities life affords.

Circles Watch

A watch made with a repeating circle design. The band, the face, and the details are all done with various sized circles. These types of watches are popular with a modern aesthetic.


A pale yellow variety cystalline quartz resembling topaz.

Claddaugh Symbol

An Irish Celtic design featuring a crown atop a heart clasped by two hands. The crown stands for loyalty, the heart for love and the two hands for friendship. Claddagh rings are often worn as symbols or friendship, promise rings and have been used as wedding bands for centuries.


Clearness of appearance.


Roman emperor after his nephew Caligula was murdered.


The absence of blemishes (spots, pimples, cracks) or discoloration on the pearl's surface.


The breaking of stones along lines of weakness related to the stones internal atomic structure.

Clip-on Earrings

Earrings that can be worn by those without pierced ears. Clip-on styles vary from screw backs, spring loaded clips, or magnetic earrings. The most popular is the spring loaded tension back that grips the ear lobe and holds the earring in place. Clip-ons were popular with costume jewelry.


The point where a bracelet, necklace, earring or other type of jewelry comes together at the clasp. There are many different types of closures each specialized for a specific type of jewelry category.


A type of inclusion. A dark region or blemish on a polished stone.

Cluster Bracelet

A bracelet that features either a feature cluster of gems, as on a bangle, or a bracelet that features multiple clustered stations.


Refers to the piece that secures a piece of jewelry like a clasp or earring back.

Cocktail Ring

Any ring that features a dramatic centerpiece stone or extravagant design. The classic cocktail ring design features an oval or marquise cut centerpiece stone surrounded by a frame of contrasting stones. Cocktail rings were popular in the 1940s and 50s, and were worn by women who weren’t afraid to stand out in a crowd.

Cocoon Chain

A chain that is created by weaving together delicate precious metals. The fiber-like metal threads come together to create what resembles a butterfly's cocoon.

Coil Bracelet

A bracelet that wraps around the wrist multiple times resembling a coil.

Coin Jewelry

Jewelry that features coins. This type of jewelry often features foreign currency or coins that are no longer in circulation.

Coin Pearls

Pearls that are retrieved from freshwater mollusks that are flat like a coin in appearance. They are like other pearls in every way except they are not the traditional shape.


One of the 4 c's of diamond grading, the term color actually refers to the absence of color in a diamond.

Companion Pendant

A pendant that identically matches another piece of jewelry.

Concave Ring

A ring that has a feature stone or feature design at the top that curves inward instead of outward.

Conch Pearls

Not truly a "pearl" but a lovely, rare and valuable product of the giant conch, a univalve mollusk. Pink is the most desirable color.


The first layer secreted by a mollusk to ease the discomfort caused when a foreign substance gets lodged in the mantle tissue. Very important as it binds the nacre to form the pearl.

Convertible Necklace

Similar to Optimus Prime, there is more than meets the eye with the convertible necklace. Many of these artful creations transform from intricate designs into demure classics through hinges and folding. Fittingly, they are also referred to as transformer necklaces.

Convertible Neckline

A necklace that has a closure


Group of minerals that includes Rubies and Sapphires.

Costume Jewelry

Popularized in the1940s, costume jewelry are items that do not contain genuine precious gemstones and were usually not made from precious metals.

Cross Over Ring

A ring wherein the metal band, either at the top or along the shank that features precious metals that overlap one another.

Crossover Ring

A ring that features a band on the upper shank that crosses over one or more bands diagonally.


The top part of a cut stone, above the girdle.


The topmost part of a cut gemstone.


A mineral, especially a transparent form of quartz, having a crystalline form of structure, often characterized by external planar faces.

Cullinan I Diamond

530.20 carats. Cut from the largest diamond ever found (3106 carats) also called the "Star of Africa". Named after the chairman of the Premier mine in South Africa at the time, Sir Thomas Cullinan. It was cut, along with 104 other stones by the firm of A

Cullinan IV Diamond

63.60 carats, one of the 105 stones from the largest diamond ever found. It is in the crown of Queen Mary and can be removed to be worn as a brooch. Also kept in the Tower of London.

Cultivated Pearl

Another term used to indicate "cultured pearl."

Curve Pendant

A pendant that has a curved design either two dimensionally or three dimensionally.

Cushion Cut

A popular style of cutting gemstones wherein a square or rectangle is cut with rounded corners and a multifaceted top.


A term used to describe how a stone is faceted or shaped. The most popular shapes are round, brilliant, marquise, pear, emerald, princess, square, and oval.

Dangle Ring

A ring that features a dangling gemstone or metal chains that hang off the main band.

Dead Spot

An industry term that refers to a gemstone that has dull areas or areas that poorly reflect the light.

Designer Jewelry

Jewelry that is often designed to cater to a certain trend or fad. Designer jewelry can also refer to a line created by a specific jewelry craftsman.


Refers to the main focal point on a coin.


Crystallized Carbon. Probably the most recognized gemstone in the world. It is prized for it rarity and is also the hardest gemstone on the Moh scale.

Diamond Cut

Refers to a piece of metal that has been cut with a tool affixed with a diamond. The hardness of the diamond cuts through the metal creating a criss-crossed pattern that creates a surface with more sparkle.

Diamond Disc Earrings

Earrings with circular discs that are covered with diamonds. These earrings are often pave set with the gemstones.

Diamond Station Eternity Band

A piece of jewelry like a ring or bracelet wherein diamonds are set in a pattern repeatedly throughout the piece’s design.


Refers to a gem that appears two different colors or shades when viewed from different directions. Alexandrite is a dichroic gemstone because it varies from red to green in different light.


The ability of a certain type of gemstone to show two different colors or shades when viewed from opposite sides of the crystal.


An instrument used to view the different colors of a dichroic mineral or determine is a gemstone is dichroic (possessing two color classes, like tourmaline or iolite). Dichroscopes are useful tools for jewelers as they can determine the stone’s true colors, the gem’s central axis, and often categorize a rough stone (a stone that has not yet ben cut or faceted).


The splitting of white light into its constituent spectral colors, the rainbow colors, when it passes through inclined surfaces, such as those on a prism or faceted gem. Dispersion in gemstones is called fire.


Commonly referred to as “Fire” by jewelers, this term relates to the way a cut gemstone reflects a variety of rainbow color. Often, a cut can determine whether dispersion or brilliance (white light) is more prominent. A diamond with more brilliance will show fewer flashes of color or dispersion. Most cuts are optimized to maximize both equally without losing the other if possible.

Dog Tag Pendant

Usually in the shape of a bone, these pendants are often engraved.

Dome Pearl

A solid blister pearl grown around a mother-of-pearl nucleus on the inside of the mollusk shell.

Dome Ring

A dome ring features a solid, round cabochon setting, or a highly polished stone without any cut facets, on top of the shank. This gives the ring the appearance of a dome.

Doorknocker Earrings

Dangle earrings that are hinged and sway back and forth. Often chandelier earrings have this type of motion.

Double Hoop Earring

Also called a double hoop up, these earrings feature a smaller hoop inside of a larger hoop.

Double Marquise Jewelry

A piece of jewelry that features two marquise shaped gemstones or the repetition of the marquise shape two times in the metal.

Double Refraction

The phenomenon in which each ray of light is split in tow as it enters a noncubic mineral. Each ray travels at different speeds and has its own refractive index.


Composite stone made of two pieces cemented or glued together.

Dramatic Jewelry

Jewelry that is sensational in its presentation. Many costume jewelry pieces were done in this style. Today, the most popular dramatic style is the cocktail ring.

Dresden Diamond

41 carats, most likely from India. This pear shaped green diamond's early history is not known. In around 1700 it was in the possession of August the Strong, Duke of Saxony. Kept in the Green Hall in Dresden, hence it's name.

Drop Bead Bracelet

A bracelet that features dangling beaded stations.

Dropped Post

A functional design technique that lowers the back post of an earring so that the entire earring is on display. This is extremely effective with large or heavy earrings that usually droop as the drop post creates leverage and pushes the design forward.


Tiny quartz crystals that form within or on the surface of a stone. Druzy, often called druse or drusy, is formed when silica water enters a porous rock’s small cavities and cools rapidly forming miniscule crystals. The result is a surface that is covered with short, thin crystals and looks similar to setting technique, micro pave. Malachite, pyrite, hematite, chrysocolla, uvarovite garnet, psilmelane, carnelian, and cobalto-calcite are commonly found as druzy.

E. G. L. - European Gemological Labratory

EGL is one of the world's premier independent gemological laboratories. For over 25 years it has offered the fine jewelry trade and consumers accurate, reliable gemstone identification and professional certification to validate their gemstone purchases.

Earring Jacket

the metal housing on the earring on which the settings and gemstones are placed.


A species of human who is registered to buy and or sell on eBay.


A disease of the human species where one tends to spend all of his or her money on items purchased at eBay.

Eight Cut

This has 8 facets on the upper and lower parts as well, plus the table. It is used for small stones.

Elevated Ring

A ring where the top feature area sticks out from the rest of the ring. Often, rings with ballerina settings or cocktail rings fall into this group categorized by a bold aesthetic.


Refers to a piece of jewelry that appears as though it has been stretched or has long accents.


Greek Smaragdos (Green Stone), Beryl group.

Emerald Cut

Step cut with an octagon shape, especially used with emeralds, but also longer diamonds.


Used to add color to jewelry, enamel is colored glass that has been baked into a box-like setting and lies flush with the topmost surface.

Enamel Bracelet

A bracelet that is crafted out of metal but set with enamel work.


A jewelry item that has a hinged bale that can be opened or closed so that it can fit on a wider chain without having to slide over the clasp.


In clothing, an ensemble is an outfit or pairing of clothes that match to create a look.


An extra piece of gold, silver, platinum or silver on a necklace that enables one to adjust the length.


Flat surfaces that make up the external shape of a crystal.


Surface of a cut and polished gem.


Cutting and polishing of the surfaces of a gemstone into facets.

Fan Ring

A ring that resembles a fan when worn.

Fancy Cut

A custom cut that does not fit into any other category. Often, fancy cuts are variations on common cuts like the emerald or oval cut.

Fancy Cut

An all enveloping term used to describe any type of gemstone cut that is not oval or round.


French for fake or imitation.


A feather-shaped flaw, as in a precious stone.

Figure Eight Earrings

Also called infinity earrings or infinity hoops, these earrings have been twisted or formed to resemble the number 8. The design can be placed horizontally or vertically.


Intricate metal work that is often open to the back. The metal work is often flowery with curves and spirals.


the various pieces commonly used by jewelers when crafting jewelry such as clasps, bales, settings, o-rings, jump rings, hooks and often even refers to the tools the jewelers use.


Refers to the way a metal surface has been done. Metal can be glossy, brushed, hammered, ect. These are all types of finishes popularly used in jewelry.


See dispersion

Fishhook Clasp

Another name for a lobster closure. The clasp opens with a clip and hooks into an O-ring on the opposite side.

Five Stone Ring

A ring that features five stones. This does not mean that there are only five gemstones in the ring's design, but that only five of the stones are prominent. It can, however, also refer to a ring that simply has only five stones.

Flourentine Diamond

137.27 carats, was held by the Medici family of Florentine in 1657. During the 18th century is was in the Habsburg crown, then it was used as a brooch. After the First World War it's whereabouts are unknown.

Flower Jewelry

A piece of jewelry that features flower stations or gemstone arrangements designed to resemble a flower.


Refers to the invisible wavelengths of light that become "visible" when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Gems or pearls that exhibit color under ultraviolet light - color not seen under normal lighting conditions - are exhibiting fluorescence.


An ornament worn on a keychain, a cell phone, or personal electronic device.


Chipping or breaking of a stone in a way unrelated to it's internal atomic structure. Because of this fractured surfaces are often uneven.

Freeform Jewelry

A genre or design in which pieces are unique or follow no other genre. This is a growing style as more and more people are making their own jewelry.

Free-form Stones

These stones are generally classified by the uneven or odd shape. When used in jewelry, they are usually highly polished and connect as charms or set with a tailored prong or varied setting. Free-form stones are popular in Bohemian jewelry and are often used in artisan pieces.

Freshwater Pearl

Pearls produced by freshwater mollusks.

Frosted Finish

A finish done on metal to give the surface a satin sheen. The finished piece has the appearance of being frozen or covered with frost.

G. I. A. - Gemological Institute of America

Established in 1931, GIA is the world's largest and most respected nonprofit institute of gemological research and learning. Conceived 75 years ago in the august tradition of Europe's most venerated institutes, GIA discovers (through GIA Research), impar


Group of differently coloured minerals with similar chemical composition. Usually a red orangish tone when found in jewelry.


The width, of a bracelet or necklace. Most commonly used to measure the size of an earring’s post. Traditional piercings are done with a 20


A decorative material, usually a mineral, prized for some or all of the qualities of beauty, durability, and rarity.

Gemstone Encased Earrings

An earring that features a gemstone that has no particular type of setting. Instead of being houses in a bezel or prong setting, these gemstones are kept in place by metal tendrils that encase the stone.

Gemstone Globe

A globe that is done entirely with gemstones and precious metals. Often, mother of pearl is used as an inlay and gemstones create the accents.

Generational Gemstone

A gemstone, like Tanzanite, that will only be found and mined during a single generation. Tanzanite, for example, is found in one place and will soon be mined away meaning new pieces of jewelry using Tanzanite will be rare unless the jewelry has destroyed an older piece to make a new one. For this reason, generational gemstones are an excellent investment.


A type of rock, that when cracked open, reveals natural gemstone formations. Geodes can be found in all sizes and types all over the globe. The Crystal Cave in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, boasts the world’s largest at 30 feet deep.

Geometric Jewelry

Jewelry that features strong geometric shaping (squares, ovals, rectangles, triangles, ect). Many modern jewelry pieces use geometric shapes to achieve a clean, minimalist aesthetic.


Gold plated or dipped in gold.


Chandelier earrings that feature three distinct dangling parts.


The band around the widest part of a cut stone, where the crown meets the pavilion.

Girlfriend Ring

When two rings (or more) of the exact same style ring are worn by a couple or friends. Girlfriend rings are similar to promise rings and symbolize the bond of friendship.

Glitter Twisted Rope Bracelet

A bracelet that is made of twisted metal tendrils and looks as though glitter has been strewn across its surface. The glitter effect is usually caused by various types of metals that adorn the surface.


A soft yellow corrosion resistant element, the most malleable and ductile metal, occurring in veins and alluvial deposits and recovered by mining or by panning or sluicing.

Gold Tone

Refers to a piece of jewelry that is only gold in color, not in make up or a piece of jewelry that is simply plated in gold and not comprised of it.

Gold Washed

Refers to jewelry that has an extremely thin layer of gold plating usually less that .175 microns thick. The thin layer will usually come off with wear.

Gold-lip Oyster

A large oyster used in some countries to produce South Sea cultured pearls. It is called a "yellow" or "gold" lip oyster because it produces a yellowish nacre and the pearls tend to range in color from off-white to deep gold.


Colorless, Beryl group.

Graduated Stones

Gemstones placed in a piece of jewelry from large to small. Graduated stones can go in either direction--be it from a large center stone to ones getting gradually smaller towards the outside in all directions or from one large stone to smaller stones goi


The standard unit of weight once used for natural pearls. Four grains are equal to one carat.

Granulated Finish

A type of finish that is created with multiple grains or granules or has the appearance that it is. Granulated finishes are popular with men’s jewelry or bold designs as the uneven surface bounces and refracts light beautifully.

Great Deal!

Anything purchased from a "GEMaffair."

Green Amethyst

Green quartz also known as prasiolite, vermarine, lime citrine, or green quartz.

Green Gold

An alloy of gold created when combined with silver. Green gold does not actually look green, but more yellow-green.

Green Quartz

Also known as green amethyst, vermarine, lime citrine, or by its gemological name, prasiolite.

Green Sapphire

Fairly common greenish variety of corundum.

Gunmetal Finish

A piece of metal that has a dark silver finish or metallic steel grey. Gunmetal can also look almost black.

Gypsy Setting

A setting wherein the gemstone is set very low. The only visible part is the top near the crown which has been set near to flush with the surface of the jewelry.


The shape in which a crystal naturally occurs.

Hair Jewelry

Popularized in the 1900s, this type of jewelry showcases a loved one’s hair. Preserved in glass, the hair was worn as a token of affection for another, as homage to those absent, and often during mourning.

Half Moon Cut

A cut wherein the gemstone is cut in a semi circle as though it were a half moon.


Pearls which have only been partly drilled, as for rings or earrings.

Hamilton Finish

This type of metal finish gives a piece of jewelry the appearance of 18 karat gold.

Hammered Finish

A type of metal finish achieved by hammering the piece of metal in such a way that it becomes multifaceted. This type of finish is often used with gold or silver creating more planes from which light can reflect. They are commonly used on hoop earrings, bangle bracelets and large pendants. Hammered Finishes can be glossy, satin, or matte depending on the finishing technique.


See Mohs Scale of Hardness


A term that refers to a stone’s resistance to scratching. Every stone is listed on the Moh’s Scale and categorized specifically by hardness, a diamond being the most hard at 10 and talc rated at 1 for being an extremely soft mineral.


An all encompassing term used for stone or gemstones used in making intaglios, cameos, or mosaics. This group includes agate, onyx, and carnelian.

Harlequin Pearls

Untreated round Chinese freshwater cultured pearls in a variety of natural colors strung together.

Heartbeat of a Watch

This term refers to a skeleton window on the face of a watch. The heartbeat refers to the watch’s movements that are visible through the window.

Heat Treatment

The application of heat to a gem with the purpose of enhancing the gems colour and or clarity.


Lemon yellow to gold colour, meaning "Present of the Sun", Beryl group.

Herringbone Chain

A thick, flat chain crafted from precious metals that features the classic herringbone design by placing short diagonal, parallel links side by side with the direction of the diagonal alternating each row. These chains also often feature a slight bend in

High Polished Finish

Also called a gloss finish or high gloss finish, this vibrant finishing technique is achieved through excessive buffing and polishing. The result is an extremely smooth, unblemished surface with a glossy shine.

Hollow Back

Refers to a piece of jewelry that features back that has been hollowed out to reduce both weight and also, in most cases, allow light to reach the gemstones more readily.

Honeycomb Ring

A ring that features multiple hexagons that have been set close to one another giving the ring a honeycomb like appearance. The hexagons can either be placed at the top of the ring or along the entire band.

Hope Diamond

44.51carats. This beautiful blue diamond appeared in the trade in 1830 and was bought by the banker H.T. Hope of London. It was probably re-cut from a stone stolen during the French Revolution. It has changed hands frequently and has resided in the Smith

HTML code

Extremely frustrating computer code developed by some total idiot with too much time on his hands. Cousin of piglatin.


Refers to a process that involves the alteration or deposition of minerals by water water heated by igneous activity.

I. G. I. - International Gemological Institute

The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the largest independent gem grading and appraisal institute in the world, renowned for their expertise and extensive experience in serving the diamond and jewelry industry for over 25 years.


Describes gems whose colour is due to elements that are an essential part of the chemical composition.


Someone who thinks they have all the HTML code figured out!

Igneous Rock

Rocks formed from erupted volcanic lava or solidified magma.

Imitation Gemstone

Material that has the outward appearance of the gem it is intended to imitate, but which has different physical properties.

Imperial Topaz

A type of quartz that is lustrous orange-yellow to orange-brown in color.


Markings or foreign bodies found within the stone.

A type of link bracelet wherein each link is shaped like the infinity symbol, or a sideways figure eight symbol.


A technique wherein a recessed area is filled with a precious gem, mother of pearl, or enamel. The decorative inlay is flush with the rest of the piece creating a clean aesthetic. Inlays are popular with guitars, antique furniture, and jewelry.

Inlay Setting

When an unfaceted stone is set into a grooved area flush with the piece’s surface.


A design in which the subject is cut lower than the background.

Interchangeable Bezel

A function of certain types of watches that enables the owner to remove and replace the the bezel with another setting. This features gives the watch added versatility and is common in fashion watches.


A shape that has been rotated 180 degrees. Usually an inversion refers to something that has been flipped up-side-down.

Invisible Clasp

An invisible clasp, or hidden clasp, refers to one that cannot be seen when closed. These types are often used in repeating patterns like tennis bracelets to ensure the design is not broken up by the clasp. Most invisible clasps are tensioners that are hidden by gemstones set along the top. One side slides into the other and remains completely hidden.

Invisible Setting

A technique developed in France nearly two hundred years ago wherein a group of gemstones are placed side by side without any visible setting. This is achieved by placing small grooves into each stone's girdle and slipping them carefully into the metal f


A silicate of alumina, iron, and magnesia having a bright blue color and vitreous luster.


Reflection of light off internal features in a gem, giving rise to a rainbow like play of colors.


A rock containing enough iron to permit commercial extraction; an iron ore.


The process of bombarding a gemstone with X-rays, gamma rays or superheated streams of subatomic particles in an effort to change the stone’s original color. It is a common acceptable practice and the method used to acquire the pristine vibrant color of jewelry quality gemstones.

Jewelry Steamer

Used to clean jewelry with steam.

Jump Ring

A jump ring is a piece of round or oval metal that is used at the end of a piece of jewelry to close the piece or to connect different part of the jewelry. Also called an O-ring, these small gold or silver circles are used in jewelry fabrication. The small wire circles can be used for adding gemstone beads to a piece, connecting links, as the female half of a jewelry’s closure, to connect pendants or charms to a chain, or fulfill any other need as a small connector. Jump rings, though a circle, can be opened by gently twisting one side down with a pair of jewelry pliers.

Kaleidoscope Pendant

,/strong> A pendant that has been fashioned to work like a kaleidoscope. Often, precious gemstones are used inside the metal cylinder instead of confetti or other materials.


A Japanese commercial unit of weight; equals 1000 momme.


Japanese word meaning something as tiny as you can imagine, such as a grain of sand; used originally for very small pearls; now used to refer to all-nacre baroque pearls produced when something goes wrong during the production of the pearl.

Key Pendant

A key, often an antique skeleton key, that has been placed on a chain as a pendant.

Knife Edge

Refers to a piece of jewelry wherein the item's metals meet to create a sharp edge. While sharp, the edge is nor sharper than a butter knife.

Knife Wire

A piece of wire that secures a gemstone that is so thin it is almost undetectable.

Knot Pendant

A pendant where the metal is twisted to form a knot. These pendants are often used in nautical jewelry or given as gifts to symbolize the bond between two people.

Knot Ring

A ring where the metal is twisted to form a knot. These types of rings are often used in nautical motifs or given to symbolize two beings tied to one another through love.

Koh-i-Noor Diamond

108.92 carats, was originally a round stone of 186 carats belonging to the Indian Raj. It was bought in 1739 by the Shah of Persia, who called it "Mountain of Light" (Koh-i-Noor). It came into the possession of the East India Company in 1850, who represe


Play of color in metallic hues.


A craftsperson who cuts and polishes gemstones.


The art of cutting, polishing, and shaping gemstones for use in jewelry. One who cuts, polishes or shapes gemstones.


A type of semi-precious stone from the pectolite family ranging from pale to sky blue in color. The opaque stone often has white streaks running throughout and sometimes has tinges of red to brown. Thus far, Larimar has only been found on one mountain in the Dominican Republic and is prized for its rarity. In Holistic medicine, the rock is believed to have calming abilities.

Laser Band

A ring band that does not contain gemstones, but rather a laser cut design or open work.

Leaf Ring

A ring that features leaves or vines in its design.

Lime Citrine

Green quartz also known as green amethyst, vermarine, or by its gemological name, prasiolite.

Drop or dangle earrings that feature links or large chains.

Living Jewelry

Any jewelry that uses organic gemstones and comes from a living organism like pieces done with coral, pearls or amber.

Love Knot

An ornamental knot commonly used in jewelry to symbolize the union of two people as one.

Lower Shank

The portion of the shank, or band, below the ring’s shoulders. The lower shank is usually found half way down the ring, but with split shanks, it can be lower or higher and is dependent on where the split lies.




A) Shine or "look" of a gemstone due to reflection of light off the surface. B) The unique, internally emanating glow that distinguishes pearls from all other gems.


Refers to the way light reacts with a certain mineral in reference to whether or not the stone is dull (reflecting little white light) or brilliant (reflecting copious amounts of white light). Terms commonly used to describe a stone’s luster include


A dome shaped stone, often cabochon cut, popularized in the 40s or 50s with cocktail style jewelry. Sometimes called mobe.

Mabe Pearl

An assembled pearl created by filling a hollow blister and then applying a mother-of-pearl back to complete the pearl.

Magnetic Clasp

A closure that holds jewelry together with two magnets.


Any material that is easily bent or shaped.


The Margaritifera mussels is used to produce freshwater pearls.

Marine Chain

Another term for the mariner chain which is created with interlocking figure-8 links.

Mariner Chain

A chain with oval links that each contain two round holes that bisect the larger oval's space. The chain is named for its resemblance to rigging used on boats and is often used for unisex pieces, ID bracelets, or pieces with a nautical theme.


Refers to the markings of the face of a watch one uses to tell time or other information like date.

A bracelet that has links shaped like marquise cut gemstones.

Martini Setting

The martini setting is aptly named for its three-prong setting that cradles the gemstone giving it the appearance of a martini glass. Gemstones are usually round brilliant cut to further the cocktail glass aesthetic, but other styles can be used.

Melee Diamond

The tern used for small brilliant-cut diamonds as well as all small diamonds that are used in embellishing mountings for larger gems. Accent diamond.

Metallic Strap

A watch strap or bracelet strap that has a finish that resembles metal.

Micro Pave

A pave setting that features many small accent gemstones giving the appearance of a solid gemstone surface.

Micro Pave

Similar to pave set gemstones except that micro pave uses extremely small gemstones to cover the entire surface of a piece of jewelry. Micro pave resembles druzy or drusy.

Midnight Sapphire

A sapphire that is such a deep hue of blue, that it is almost as black as the midnight sky.

Milano Chain

A type of rope chain wherein the links are twisted several times before interlocking with the next.


Decorative raised bumps made in precious metals within a jewelry piece's design. Milgrain is done with a special engraver's tool.


Inorganic, naturally occurring materials with a constant chemical composition and regular internal atomic structure.

Mini Cross

A pendant or bauble in the shape of a cross that is less than one inch long.

Mirror Finish

A metal finish wherein the surface is so highly polished that it reflects images as though it were a mirror. This finish generally has the highest gloss.

Mixed Cut

A cut in which the facets above and below the girdle are styled in different ways.


1. An aesthetic featuring the characteristics of modern art. Modern pieces often have a minimalist or avante garde appearance. 2. A piece of jewelry that is innovative.

Mohs Scale of Hardness

The measure of a mineral's hardness in relation to other minerals, based on it's ability to resist scratching.


A man-made gemstone that closely resembles a diamond. It is only slightly less hard and can mimic almost all of the diamond's other qualities.


Japanese weight measurement used for pearls. One momme equals 3.75 grams, or 18.75 carats.


A term that refers to color. Monochromatic tones mean that the colors, while a different shade, are from the same hue.

Montana Sapphire

A sapphire found along Rock Creek, Dry Cottonwood Creek, and the Missouri River that are carried by flowing water and found as secondary deposits.


Also known as pink beryl, rose beryl, pink emerald, and cesian beryl, this light pink to rose colored gemstone was named for financier and gem aficionado J.P. Morgan. Morganite can also be found in orange and yelow varieties and turns a deeper shade of p

Mourning Jewelry

Jewelry worn during the 17th century in memory of the deceased. These commemorative pieces often featured amethyst, pearl, or diamond accents and were usually made from an affordable material like jet or black glass. The pieces featured sentimental scene

Multi Circle Ring

A ring design wherein the metal or gemstones create a pattern with multiple circles.


Used to describe a single crystal made of different coloured parts.


Refers to a piece of jewelry - commonly a necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings - that features a grouping of strands that come together as one. The strands within can be a combination of different types of gold and other metals or all the same kind.

Mystic Fire Topaz

Designer gemstone created by by Azotic Coating Technology Inc. The gemstone is created by applying a tiny layer of titanium to the underside of a natural white topaz. The light passing through the natural gemstone and the thin layer of titanium creates a


The usually whitish crystalline substance which the mollusc secretes around a foreign "intruder" and which forms what we know as the pearl. Layers build up over time.

Nassak Diamond

43.38 carats, was originally over 90 carats and in a Temple of Shiva near Nassak, in India. It was looted in 1818 by the English, then re-cut in New York in 1927. Today it is held in a private collection somewhere in the United States.


The location on or below the neck on the decollete where a necklace or pendant can be seen.

Needle Point Cut

A gemstone cut wherein the stone is shaped like a needle at both ends.


A term that refers to the way a necklace hangs on the neck.


A hard, silver-white metal in the iron group that is malleable, ductile and resistant to corrosion.

Noble Metal

A noble metal is a metal that will endure as they are resistant to corrosion or oxidation. Gold, platinum, rhodium, palladium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium metals are generally categorized as noble metals.

Noble Metal

A metal prized for its durability, resistant to both oxidation and corrosion. Most are precious metals found near the earth’s crust. Noble metals include

Octagon Bangle

A bangle that has eight solid sides, no hinges, and usually no closure.


The reprehensible practice of oiling in which a jeweler or seller applies oil to a gemstone to mask inclusions and enhance color.


A mineral, an amorphous form of silica, SiO2 with some water of hydration, found in many varieties and colors, including a form that is milky white.


Milky blue form of iridescence.


Not transparent or translucent; impenetrable to light; not allowing light to pass through.

Open Back

A style of ring that does not connect in the back. The rings are often used for pinky and toe rings because they are very easy to adjust.

Open Shank

When the shanks, or sides, of the ring split along the side and are open to the back.

Opera Length

This term refers to a long necklace that is usually 24 to 36 inches in length. The term was coined as women flocked to the opera in long strands of pearls. Today the term can be used with any type of necklace.


Living matter or that which was once living.

Organic Gem

Gem made or derived from living organisms, like amber.


The shimmering, iridescent play-of-colour seen on or just below the surface of the pearl.

Oriental Pearl

A natural pearl.

Overlap Ring

A ring wherein the gemstones are placed so that they overlap one another.


A decorative technique which involves two separate pieces of metal. Each piece, which is usually hammered flat, receives different treatments to produce the look. The top piece is sculpted or cut into a specific design and the bottom piece is darkened th


A chemical reaction between different types of metals and the air. Tarnish is the result of the oxidation process with sterling silver and pure silver.

P. Fucata

Oyster used to produce Japanese and Chinese cultured pearls.

P. Margaritifera

A pearl-producing oyster with black, white, or golden colored "lips. The black variety of this mollusk is used to create Tahitian black pearls.

P. Martensii

A pearl=producing oyster used in Japan and China, smaller than Maxima and capable of producing pearls up to a maximum of about 10+ mm.

P. Maxima

A large oyster used to produce South Sea cultured pearls.

Parcel of Gemstones

A way to purchase gemstones either mixed or of one type, that are sold according to their carat weight. Buying by the parcel is a popular way for artisans who use multiple gemstones in cluster jewelry.

Partial Bezel Setting

Also called a split bezel or partial bezel, this type of setting is often used with a varied setting. The bezel portion only cradles on side of the gem and the other is held in place by another variety of setting, usually a prong type setting.


Glass made to imitate gems.


A type of setting in which the stones are effectively "paved" into the piece of jewelry with a precious metal. Often small gemstones or pieces of jewelry with curve surfaces use this technique to set stones.


A lower surface of a brilliant-cut gem slanting outward from the culet to the girdle.


A smooth, rounded bead formed within the shells of certain mollusks and composed of the mineral aragonite or calcite in a matrix, deposited in concentric layers as a protective coating around an irritating foreign object

Pebble Ring

A ring that features a polished pebble or multiple pebbles. These rings are a popular Bohemian style.

Peek-a-boo Stones

Gemstones that are not immediately apparent or easily visible. These stones are often set into the side of a piece of jewelry, or as with rings, on the shank close to a larger gemstone that juts out from the piece as though shaded by the larger stone.


A coarse, intrusive igneous rock featuring extremely large crystals (some over 50mm in size). Over 550 different minerals have been found in pegmatites, many of which include gemstone quality gems like beryl, aquamarine, tourmaline, garnet, kunzite, and topaz to name a few. Pegmatites also remain a source for rare precious metals.


Any charm that is used on a chain necklace. Pendants, unlike necklaces, can be switched from chain to chain. They feature a fixed bale and as long as the bale is wide enough to fit over a clasp, it can be worn with that chain. A necklace features a chain that connects directly to the featured design and so cannot be removed.


A yellowish-green variety of olivine used as a gem.


A metal alloy that contains both tin and lead. Due to the lead it has a slightly dull appearance and can never be polished to a high gloss.

Physical Vapor Deposition

A thin-film deposition process in which a material (metal, alloy, compound, cermet, or composite) is either evaporated or sputtered onto a substrate in a vacuum.

Pierced Work

Another term for open work wherein there are areas of the piece that are open to the back.


A type of closure used on hinged bangle bracelets. Also a type of broach or decorative piece that attaches to a sweater, lapel, or shirt with a pin.


Refers to a pearl-producing oyster genus.

Pink Sapphire

Corundum with a pink hue colored by Chromium.

Pink Topaz

A type of quartz with a pink color.


A heavy precious metallic element; grey-white and resistant to corroding; occurs in some nick and copper ores and is also found native in some deposits.


Term used to describe a gem that appears two or more different colors or shades when viewed from different directions.

Poison Ring

A ring with a hidden hinged compartment that could conceivably contain poison.

Polish Tumbler

A machine that rotates around and around tumbling rough stones. Over time, the movement and abrasion clears the stones of rough spots and adds a slight polish. Often, sand is added for a more thorough clean.

Polishing Cloth

cloth used to clean and polish jewelry safely.

Ponytail Chain

A chain, commonly called a wheat chain, that resembles a braided ponytail.


Black background used to give contrast made usually from quartz, glass, resin, or ironstone.


A green-colored form of quartz also known as vermarine, lime citrine, green quartz, or green amethyst.

Precious Metals

Valuable metals often used to make coins or jewelry.

Pressure Open Back

A ring or toe ring that is not connected at the back and can be squeezed slightly to change the sizing for a perfect fit.

Promise Ring

A ring given to another or worn by the purchaser that symbolizes a promise or vow. Commonly worn by couples, friends or those who take a vow to remain pure. The latter are also called purity rings.


A tapering metal projection, usually heavier than a claw, rising from the base of a jewelry setting and used to hold a stone in position as needed.


Foretelling events as if by divine inspiration.

Pteria Penguin

Mollusc used to produce Mabe pearls.

Puff Ring

A ring that features a three dimensional object that "puffs" away from the ring's shank. This style is popular with solid metal pieces, uniquely shaped designs, and heart rings.

Puzzle Chain

A chain wherein each link resembles the pieces of a puzzle.

Puzzle Ring

A ring made up of three or more interlocking bands that when put together correctly create one solid band. There are a large variety of different styles, but the most common features a braided crossover design when complete. Puzzle rings are most commonl

Pyramid Ring

A ring that features gemstones or an overall design that looks like a pyramid. Many of the studded styles are referred to as pyramid studs for this reason.


Of Greek origin meaning "fiery." Pyrope is part of the Garnet group, Hardness 7-7.5, S.G. 3.65-3.80, R.I. 1.730-1.760.


A very hard mineral composed of silica, found worldwide in many different types of rocks, including sandstone and granite. Types include amethyst, smokey quartz, tiger's eye quartz, rose quartz, among others. Chalcedony, another type, is a type of polysi

Quilted Gemstone

Also known as the checkerboard cut, this term refers to any type of gemstone that has been cut in such a way that its facets resemble a quilt. Often cushion cut or oval gemstones receive the checkerboard treatment to maximize the play of light on the gem

Radiant Cut

A cross between the emerald and brilliant cut, the radiant cut is a rectangular cut with seventy facets.

Rainbow Jewelry

Jewelry that has been set with a number of different colored stones usually placed to correspond to the color spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet).

Raindrop Earring

Another term for teardrop earrings wherein the piece tapers from top to bottom the way a droplet of water would when pulled by gravity.

Ratchet Bezel

A watch bezel that can be turned both clockwise and counter-clockwise and clicks with ratchet action.

Reconstituted Stone

A stone that has been crushed and put back together with a polymer resin. Reconstituted stones are an interesting alternative to the original as the patterns created with the crushed stone and resin can have a marble effect.

Red Topaz

A type of quartz with a red color.

Reeded Edge

Refers to a series of fluted lines or vertical ridges that encircle the perimeter of some United States coins. (Dime, quarter, and half dollar for example)


Bending of light as it passes from air into a different medium.

Refractive Index

Measures the slowing down and bending of light rays as they enter a gemstone. Maybe used to identify gem species.


Apparatus used to measure the refractive indices of gems.

Replacement Value

The base cost to repair or replace a piece of jewelry.

Reversible Eternity Ring

An eternity ring that features one type of gemstone or gemstone arrangements on the top portion along the band and an entirely different gemstone or grouping of gemstones on the lower portion. This enables the user to slide the ring around for two completely separate looks with one showing when the palm is facing up and the other as seen when the palm is facing down.

Reversible Necklace

A necklace that can be worn two different ways. One side will have one design and the other side will feature something else, often the exact opposite.


A rose-red or pink variety of garnet, a silicat mineral used as a gem.

Ribbed Bangle

A bangle bracelet generally comprised of multiple like bangles connected at one point giving the piece a ribbed effect.

Ribbed Ring

A ring that features a textured design along the band. The band will feature ridges, usually horizontally across the band that either encircles the entire piece or just the sides of the shanks leading up to the feature setting.

Ribbon Jewelry

Any type of jewelry that is twisted like a ribbon or banner. Common types include the popular ribbon look which, depending on color, stands for various causes and charities. For example, a pink ribbon stands for breast cancer awareness and a red ribbon f

Ring in a Ring

Two rings that can be worn together or separately. They are popular as friendship, promise and girlfriend rings as when together, the rings are designed to be fused as one.

Ring Jacket

A ring jacket is an accessory for other rings. Ring jackets come in many shapes in order to accommodate the numerous different ring styles, however, most feature an ornate band or shank and an open area on the middle. When worn with a wedding or engagement ring, the ring jacket slips around the feature stone giving the piece an entirely updated look.

Ring Wrap

A piece of jewelry that features two bands designed to wrap around another ring. Ring wraps usually feature decorative bands or gemstone inlays to add interest to the updated piece. Ring wraps are designed to fit most common ring types and are an excelle

Rolled Edge

A piece of jewelry that features a thin piece of metal that has been rolled and attached to the surface along the side.

Rolling Ring

A ring that is comprised of usually three or more bands that roll over one another as the ring slides on and off. Another type of rolling rind features a solid band with another band set inside that moves back and forth. The latter is popular with Celtic styles.

Rolling Ring

A ring that features several bands, usually three, that roll over one another as the owner slides it onto the finger.

Rolo Chain

A rolo chain is a type of chain wherein like oval or circle links are connected to one another throughout the chain’s design.

Rope Ring

A ring that has been fashioned to resemble a rope.

Rose Cut

A facet cut without table or pavilion. Does not produce much brilliance.

Rose Gold

Also known as pink and red gold, rose gold is a type of gold alloy that is created when gold is combined with copper. The highest karat weight for rose gold is referred to as crown gold and is 22 karat.


An industry term that refers to a variety of different jewelry pieces sold at one time.


Term used to describe a rock or crystal still in its natural state, before faceting or polishing.

Round Tube Hoop Earrings

A pair of hoop earrings wherein the actual hoop is created with a curved round tube of a particular type of metal. With larger styles or larger tubes, the center is often hollow. Slender styles may be created with a solid piece of metal.

Rubber Bracelet

Also called jelly bracelets, these bracelets are black or colored rubber bangles that were popularized in the 1980s.


Name in Latin, Rubeus (Red), Corundum group, aluminum oxide.


Refers to gemstones that contain flecks or crystals of various types of metal. The most common type is rutilated quartz with inclusions of needle-like titanium spires inside the translucent stone.


The term used for metal flecks or crystals inside gemstones. A type of inclusion.

Saddleback Earrings

A type of hoop earring, often called saddle hoop earrings, wherein the hoop is enlongated vertically creating a more elliptical, saddle-like shape.

Safety Clasp

A secondary closure used on some bracelets and necklaces to add extra security for the wearer.

Safety Pin Earrings

Earrings that resemble safety pins.

Sancy Diamond

55 carats, is said to have been worn by Charles the Brave around 1470. It was bought by Signeur de Sancy in 1570 from the French ambassador to Turkey. Since 1906 is has belonged to the Astor family of London.


Name in Greek, (Blue), Corundum group, aluminum oxide.

Sapphire Crystal

A clear, scratch-resistant covering used on fine watches.

Satin Finish

A matte finish achieved on a metal surface by sandblasting, polishing the piece with a stiff wire brush, or chemically treating the surface. Satin finishes are popular because they are less likely than a high gloss finish to show wear. Satin finishes has a lustrous pearl-like sheen.


Popularized in the Edwardian era, a sautoir is a very long necklace that showcases either a tassle or pendant at the bottom. Traditional sautoirs were rope or were metal fashioned to look like rope.


An edge of a piece of jewelry that is scalloped or has a curved edge created from multiple half circles.

Scatter Necklace

A necklace, often featuring multiple strands or invisible strands, that features the unique placement of gemstones or charms across the decollete and neck. Each accent is positioned in such a way that the piece appears scattered or as if the gems had bee

Scatter Ring

A ring wherein the gemstones are placed slightly away from one another in a non-formulaic way.

Schiller / Sheen

Form of iridescence.

Scissors Cut

A type of step cut.


A closure that is shaped like an "S" that holds a piece of jewelry together without hinges or other moving parts. One side of the "S" is attached with a jump ring securely and the other can be looped into an opening on the other side. This type of closur

Screw Ball Clasp

A type of closure that is formed when to half circles screw together to form a sphere. This is similar to the barrel clasp yet simply has a different aesthetic when closed.

Secondary Deposits

Gemstones moved away from their original location by Mother Nature. Rain and erosion, glacier movement, and mudslides can all redeposit minerals miles from their original location. A good example of secondary deposits are Montana Sapphires and interestingly Anthill Garnets wherein the garnets are removed from the earth by ants and placed atop the anthill.

Seed Pearls

Tiny natural pearls weighing under 1/4 grain, usually less than 2 mm in diameter.

Semi Mount

A ring that has accenting stones in place, but there is no feature stone yet in the setting. These rings are often sold for those who want to create their own jewelry or change the style of their ring, but keep the original stone. They are also useful fo

Shah Diamond

88.70 carats, came from India and is only partially polished. It has three inscriptions of monarchs' names. In 1829 it was given to Tsar Nicholas I, and is now kept in the Kremlin in Moscow.

Shamrock Ring

Refers to a ring that either resembles a shamrock or has a shamrock\s in its design.

Shank Ring

A ring with a boldly designed shank.

Shield Ring

A ring that features a crest or shield done in metal or gemstones.

Shimmering Band

A ring’s band that has been textured or cut (often diamond cut) to reflect light easily.

Shoulder Duster

A type of earrings where the piece is so long that it almost reaches one's shoulder.


The upper and lower shank of a ring, or its sides.

Side Stone

A stone or stones that are set one either side of the feature stone or down the shank of the ring.

Signet Ring

A ring that features an insignia, monogram, coat of arms, or family crest.


Small inclusions on a gemstone.


Silver, with elemental abbreviation Ag and atomic number 47, is a precious metal often used in jewelry. This soft alloy is both the highest thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity of any metal. When exposed to aid, the metal oxidizes and tarnish

Silver Tone

Jewelry that is comprised of a metal that is only silver in color or a piece of jewelry that is plated in sterling silver as opposed to being crafted from it.

Single Bale

A bale is the piece affixed to the top of a pendant through which the chain passes and pieces with a single bale feature one loop as opposed to others that may have two or more.

Sister Piece

Any piece of jewelry that is designed to specifically match another. For example, a ring that matches a necklace would be a sister piece to the necklace and vice versa.

Sizing Bar

A bar placed on a ring that enables the wearer to reduce the ring's size to properly fit their finger without altering the band. Sizing bars can be purchased at most jewelry stores and are often made of flexible plastic or rubber.

Skilled Grader

A person who has advanced knowledge and experience with grading gemstones.

Slave Earrings

An earring that has a slender chain that connects to an ear cuff or another earring.


A type of pendant that features a longer bale. Often, slides are spiral pieces that encircle the chain. They can also be longer designs wherein the chain passes through and behind the front display.

Smokey Topaz

A type of brownish quartz that has a smoky look.

Snake Bangle Bracelet

A bracelet, similar to a snake ring, that is shaped entirely like a snake that wraps around one’s wrist. The most common type is a bypass bracelet that can be adjusted for fit, but others include specialized clasps wherein the snake’s mouth clasps onto the snake’s tail like the Ouroboros.

Snake Necklace

A type of necklace wherein the snake’s body creates the chain and the clasp. In the 1970s, snake necklaces saw resurgence. They often featured bejeweled eyes, metallic scales and attached at the head to the tail with a tension clasp.

Snake Ring

Snake rings, in which the upper and lower shank of the ring are formed by the snake's body, have many different meanings and there are many different varieties. The ring's mythical background begins in ancient Greece when citizens wore snake rings in hon

Snakeskin Ring

A ring, generally gold or some other type of precious metal, that has the texture of a snake. These rings can have flexible “scales” or simply be shaped into the texture by the craftsman.

South Sea Pearls

Pearls produced by the large oyster (Pinctada maxima) in white, silver, and gold. South Sea Pearls tend to be the largest, rarest, and priciest of all the pearls.

Sparkle Chain

A chain that has been diamond cut to increase the way light reflects off the surface creating more sparkle.

Sparkle Chain

A chain that has been diamond cut to reflect the maximum amount of light.


Used in gemology to refer to individual gems that have distinct characteristics which may be defined and verified.

Specific Gravity

Density, measured as the weight of the material compared with that of an equal volume of water.


Instrument used to view the absorption spectra of gemstones.


Garnet group, Hardness 7-7.5, S.G. 4.12-4.20, R.I. 1.795-1.815.


Magnesium aluminum oxide. Spinel may mean "spark" in Greek.

Split Shank

Refers to a ring band that splits into two pieces or more usually where the upper and lower shank meet.


Refers to a piece of jewelry that features a scattered or spread out design. The spread also refers to the distance from one station or stone to the next.

Spring Loaded Hinge

A hinge, often used on bracelets, that is spring loaded to facilitate opening and closing the clasp.

Square Ring

A ring that features a band with a square exterior. This style was popular in the Art Deco era of the 20s and 30s.

Square Tube Hoop Earrings

A pair of hoop earrings wherein the actual hoop is formed with a square shaped tube of metal. If the earrings are large or the square tube is wider, the center may be hollow. On slender styles, the tube may be solid.

St. Patrick

Patron saint of Ireland and one of Christianity's most widely known figures.

St. Valentine

Roman Christian who, according to tradition, was martyred during the persecution of Christians in the third century by Emperor Claudius II.

Stack bracelets

Just as with stacking rings, these type of bracelets were fashioned to complement a group of others when worn together.

Stack Rings

Rings that are designed to be stacked one upon the other on the same finger. Often these rings will feature a curved band or a three dimensional design that may overlap one of the adjacent rings. While these rings are designed specifically fot his purpose, almost any ring can be stacked.

Stackable Bouquet

A styling term for literally stacking several rings - either flat or with three dimensional qualities - onto one finger to create the appearance of a gemstone bouquet on the finger. Often, rings are sold in sets specifically for this purpose or others ma

Star Sapphire

Sapphire that when cut shows a star-like figure in reflected light because of its crystalline structure.


A piece of jewelry that features a repeat pattern wherein certain "stations" repeat. For example, on a necklace that features eight prong set blue sapphires and then a bezel set diamond, the diamond setting would be referred to as a diamond station.

Step Cut

Cut shaped by a rectangular table facet and girdle, with rectangular facets parallel to these.

Step Design

The step design resembles a pyramid. Either the ring features stones that have been set in the step design or the ring’s feature stone has been cut with this design.

Sterling Silver

An alloy of 92.5% silver and copper or another material.

Stick Earrings

Also called Chop Stick Earrings, these earrings feature dangling rectangular bars that connect to the backing via a jump ring.

Stick Pendant

A pendant that is straight. This may also refer to a drop pendant.


Term used for any gemstone.

Strap Ring

A ring, usually leather or pliable metal, that looks like a watch strap without the face.

Stretch Bracelet

A type of bracelet that stretches over the hand and fits snuggly to the wrist. These bracelets feature links that are usually connected with elastic and have no closures as they can adapt to any size. Another way to make these bracelets is with contracting hinges that flex and closes as needed. The latter type was popular during the 40s and 50s with rhinestone costume jewelry.


A parallel scratch, groove or line on the surface or interior of a gemstone.


A sub-dial is a smaller dial set within the watch’s main dial. Common sub-dials are used as stopwatches or timers, date windows or even altimeters.


Jewelry that is either large, heavy or laden with gemstones.

Surface Mining

Mining that takes place when the stones can be found close to the surface. This type of mining entails little heavy equipment as only the soil and overlying mineral deposits are removed. Surface mining is most commonly used to retrieve coal deposits.

Swirl Earrings

Any type of earrings that feature a swirling design or spiral in some way. Cinnabun stud earrings are an example of swirl jewelry.

Symmetry, Axis Of

Imaginary line through a crystal. If the crystal were rotated about its axis it would present an identical aspect tow or more times in a rotation of 360 degrees.

Synthetic Gemstone

A laboratory-made stone whose chemical composition and optical properties are similar to those of it's natural equivalent.


The upper horizontal surface of a faceted gem.


Flat surface at the top of a cut gemstone as on a princess cut.

Table Cut

The simplest type of step cut which is very flat with a large table. Often used for seals or for men's rings.

Table Facet

Central facet on a gem's crown.


A trinket or piece of jewelry thought to be a protection against evil.


Any object believed to posses magical properties.

Tango Chain

A rope chain that features a twisted design that reflects light as the piece moves or is moved. It is called a “tango” chain because light resembles a dancer.


A country of east-central Africa on the Indian Ocean.


A transparent vaiety of zoisite, used as a gem.

Taper earrings

Also called a stretcher earring, these earrings are used while stretching one’s ear to a smaller gauge.


Refers to a piece of jewelry or a portion of jewelry that is larger at one end and gradually gets smaller towards the other.

Tapered Hoops

A type of hoop earring that features a metal that gets gradually smaller or larger towards one end. Many pieces will start off thin towards the top and gradually get thicker or fatter towards the bottom.

Tennis Bracelet

A bracelet containing many small gemstones, such as diamonds, that are set one after the other into a narrow chain.

Tennis Necklace

A necklace that consists of a row or rows of closely placed gemstones with like settings wherein all the gemstones are alike or alternate in a set pattern.

Tension Setting

A setting that holds the gemstone in place entirely with tension and not prongs.

Tessere Bracelet

a bracelet that features woven metal or the appearance of woven metal. These bracelets, often done in a cuff design, are usually done in yellow or white gold.

Three Row Flower Ring

A ring that contains three rows of flowers.

Three Stone Setting

A setting wherein three gemstones are set in a parallel line next to one another representing the past, the present and the future.

Tiffany Diamond

128.51 carats, found in the Kimberly mine of South Africa, in 1878. It weighed 287.42 carats as a rough diamond. It was bought by the jewelers Tiffany in New York and cut in Paris with 90 facets.

Tiffany Setting

So name for the jeweler Tiffany & Co. that began using the setting in 1886, the setting is characterized by a high six or five prong setting that rises up away from the shank to secure and protect the stone. There are variations on the setting, but traditionally, the prongs are slender and the presentation is simple.

Tiger Iron

A gemstone that resembles the hide of a tiger.


A strong, low-density, highly corrosion-resistant, lustrous white metallic element that occurs widely in igneous rocks and is used to alloy aircraft metals for low weight, strength, and high-temperature stability.


Name from island in Red Sea, Topazos.


A piece of jewelry wherein several strands of beads, pearls, or chains is woven or twisted together to create a single piece.


A term that refers to an item’s resistance to damage or breaking.

Tourmalinated Quartz

Quartz that features rutilated black tourmaline inclusions. It was once revered for its magical qualities said to be able to balance the yin and yang while dispelling negative energies.


A complex crystalline silicate containing aluminum, boron, and other elements.

Trained Grader

A person who has a basic understanding of gem grading, but does not have the advanced experience of a skilled grader.


Clear; permitting the passage of light.


The quality or state of being transparent.

Trapiche Emerald

Often found in the mines of Columbia, these are the only Emeralds with a naturally occurring star effect. Though it resembles an asterism, a trapiche occurs as the crystal grows and is not a reflection across the surface of the gem. It is within the gem. A trapiche emerald is the result of an emerald crystal that contains the impurity lutite, and as the crystal grows in its hexagonal shape, the dark lutite is pushed towards the center of the emerald creating the star-like effect. The emerald takes its name from the tool, called a trapiche, that Columbians use to grind sugar. It resembles a spoked wheel.


Refers to a gem that appears three different colors or shades when viewed from different directions.


Also referred to as tri-tone, this type of jewelry refers to a piece of jewelry crafted from three different types of metal. Tri-color jewelry is popular with woven or tressere jewelry as it artfully combines the three different metal types.

Trinity Design

Also called the Trillion Design, when three stones are placed in a triangle pattern with two on the button and one on the top.

Triple Teardrop

S-style design wherein three teardrop shapes come together to form one larger teardrop.

True to Size

An industry term used when a ring is exactly a specific size and not slightly smaller or larger.


Can be considered a "new" gemstone since it was unknown before its discovery in Kenya in the 1960s. It is a member of the garnet family group in which trace amounts of vanadium and chromium provide the green color.

Twilight Mystic Topaz

Type of mystic fire topaz that is warm and vibrant with flashes of orange and pink and gold fire on a orange base gem.

Twin Resistant

A watch that is not only water resistant but also mud resistant.

Twist Ring

A ring that features a woven or twisted appearance.

Twisted Bangle

A bangle bracelet that features a twisted design.

Ultrasonic Cleaner

Used to clean jewelry by using energy released from the collapse of millions of microscopic cavitation bubbles, which are formed when ultrasound passes through the cleaning liquid.

The portion of a piece of jewelry that is not seen while it is worn. Often, personal engravings are placed here to keep the message private.


Refers to a gemstone that has received absolutely no treatments. It has not undergone either chemical or physical changes and the color of the stone is completely natural.


A form of fine stainless steel that resembles white gold.

Valentine's Day

February 14, observed in honor of St. Valentine as a day for the exchange of valentines and other tokens of affection.

Velvet Brush Finish

A metal finish achieved by combining both the satin finish and the brushed finish. It has more sheen than the matte finish, reflecting light softly.


Areas that are open on jewelry to allow more light to pass through a set stone.


Green quartz also know lime citrine, green amethyst, vermarine, or prasiolite, which is its gemological name.


Gold plated silver.


Glasslike (used to describe luster).


A prong setting that is shaped like the letter “V.”

V-Prong Setting

A setting wherein the gemstone is held in place by V-shaped or L-shaped prongs. These settings are often used in combination with single or double prong settings with the marquise cut, pear cut, briolette cut, trilliant or trillion cut, and the heart cut

Waterfall Ring

A ring that features a prominent stone at the center and a series of stones either on the band, or encircling the entire gem, that are set gradually lower as in steps. Waterfall rings are popular with the cocktail style or classic diamond rings.

Wave Hoop Earrings

A type of hoop earrings that is not a perfect circle but instead a more wavy adaptation.


A closure that is shaped like the letter "W" that when turned slightly, releases one portion from the other.

White Gold

An alloy of gold and nickel, sometimes also containing palladium or zinc, having a pale platinum like color.

White Topaz

A colorless aluminum silicate mineral, often found in association with granite rocks and valued as a gemstone.

Wide Band Ring

a Ring that features an unusually wide lower shank. Often, men's rings are done with wide bands as are thumb rings or those sporting a modern aesthetic.

Widows Mite Jewelry

A piece of jewelry that contains a Roman bronze mite coin, which was in circulation in Judea from 103 B.C. to the 1st century A.D. About the size of a dime, the mite was the smallest coin in circulation. One side features an anchor surrounded by the name

X Ring

A ring that features a design resembling the letter "X." The ring may feature one or more "X's."

Yellow Gold

Gold that has been alloyed with a mix of 50% copper and 50% silver.

Yellow Sapphire

Corundum with a yellow hue.


An industry term used to describe a gemstone or piece of jewelry expected to sell quickly.


A brown to colorless mineral, which is heated, cut, and polished to form a brilliant blue-white gem.


A grey, brown, or pink mineral, used in ornamental stonework.